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Bon appetite

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2014-06-14 08:46

Bon appetite
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Bon appetite

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Today, people are so genuinely proud of Chinese food that some have moved to the other end of the scale, believing in the superiority of what they eat, to the exclusion of everything else.

In an era of little mobility, people ate what they grew, with almost no chance of tasting things from afar.

People grew attached to their own foods, taking them along when they relocated.

This was extolled as a virtue, or a sign of nostalgia, in the series.

I certainly view our food as a key part of our cultural identity, which is etched on us, mainly because of economic necessity.

Nowadays young people in big cities have access to all kinds of food. They may not like all of them, but that smirk of disdain is no longer visible on their face because they probably don't have their home cuisine as the only benchmark.

There is nothing wrong with thinking your hometown's food is the best.

However, one should caution against the flip side of this belief - that unfamiliar foods are simply inferior.

When CNN's website ran an article headlined "Top 10 disgusting foods in the world" about two years ago, many cried foul.

Most of the items highlighted were from Asia, including my personal favorite, pidan: the famous "hundred-year egg" or "thousand-year egg". Duck, chicken or quail eggs are preserved in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime and rice hulls for up to several months.

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